The Final United Nations Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty began March 18 in New York and had a Thursday deadline to reach an agreement, the U.N. News Center said.
"The treaty had been within reach, thanks to the tireless work and spirit of compromise among member states," a statement from Ban's office said.
Given the importance of the issue, Ban "strongly hopes that member states will continue exploring ways to bring the treaty into being," the statement continued.
The statement said Ban considered the draft text of the treaty to be "balanced" and would have established standards for regulating international trade in conventional arms.
Had it passed, the treaty would have applied to battle tanks, armored combat vehicles, large-caliber artillery systems, combat aircraft, attack helicopters, warships, missiles and missile launchers, and small arms and light weapons, U.N. News Center said.